When Walt Disney was building Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride in the 1960s, he rejected a proposed portrait of the almost unkillable Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin. How come? He was afraid of lawsuits from Rasputin's relations.

As Long-Forgotten explains:

Illustration for article titled Walt Disney didnt put Rasputin in the Haunted Mansion to avoid being sued by the mad monks descendants

One of the fundamental decisions that confronted the Imagineers who put together the Haunted Mansion was choosing which ghosts and ghoulies to put before the public. It was like writing a recipe. How much should the Mansion rely-if at all-on cinematic ghosts? or Halloween decoration ghosts? [...] [Disney Imagineer Marc Davis] also planned to use Rasputin. Believe it or not, Walt nixed this one himself, not because it was so weird but because he feared that relatives of Rasputin might still be alive (which was true) and might want to sue them! Marc recycled some of his unused Rasputin portrait into one of the Sinister 11, the one sometimes referred to as "the ogre."


Weird! I'm not sure how litigious Rasputin's relatives were, but I don't remember Boney M. ever getting sued.

[Spotted on Boing Boing]

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